Josh attended his last Blue & Gold Ceremony with Cub Scout Pack 53 earlier this month. If you haven’t kept up on what the big pomp & circumstance is all about, this is the big ceremony or event where each rank moves up to the next level. From September to early February, all scouts (and their increasingly desperate parents!) are completing various pins, patches, and belt loops.
For the 2nd year Webelos like Josh, they are really trying to get everything completed, as they hopefully bridge over to Boy Scouts. As I mentioned in various prior posts, Namita and I have been helping Josh (and driving him around) in order to complete the last of his requirements to not only obtain his Arrow of Light (required for bridging over), but also to complete all 20 Webelos achievements, thereby earning the Super Achiever award. I’m sure this all matters down the road, but this is what parenting is all about.
Somehow, all three of us crossed the finish line by Feb 7th. On Jan 26th, we were there with 20 other parents taping up his Arrow of Light with marks indicating every achievement. And on Feb 7th, there we were sitting in the audience watching all of the ranks move up. Eventually, they called up both Webelos dens plus parents to hand out the arrows and other awards. Josh started as a Wolf, then became a Bear, Webelo 1, then a Webelo 2. Been four years now. Although I was the primary designated parents for many of those years, Namita was really responsible this year with pushing Josh to finish those final requirements and earn the Super Achiever. She tracked the requirements, held him to deadlines, and made sure each completed one was relayed to our Den leaders.
The 2nd to last big piece of the ceremony was bringing the bridging over scouts up to literally “bridge over.” The various boy scout troops in town attend the ceremony and construct this wooden bridge. Each Webelo gets called up by the leader of their new Troop and invited to walk across the “bridge” and join their fellow Boy Scouts.
Finally, they called up the Pack leaders, including myself, to thank us for our hard work and dedication. They gave out plaques for those of us who were outgoing / retiring. That includes me and my 3 years of being the Popcorn Kernel. I knew we would all get called up, but I forgot about the outgoing leaders getting awards. I actually got a really nice plaque with my name on it. I was surprised and awed.
After all of said and done, we all adjourned to the cafeteria for dinner, more awards, and dessert. Afterwards, my sister and her family (and later my father-in-law) showed up at our house for 2nd dinner and to watch the Superbowl. We only had snacks initially so I went out to pick up ribs, buffalo wings, etc.
And that’s it for being a Cub Scout. It’s funny that Josh made it all the way through. 30+ years ago, I myself was interested in being a Cub Scout, but my mother didn’t want me to go camping. 4 years ago, we attended a township National Night Out event where a few Scout leaders had a table on the field to talk about scouting. 3 years ago, I joined the leadership as I was making updates to the website and handling popcorn sales.
Overall, I think it was a rewarding experience. We got to meet a lot of folks in town, make friends, attended so many events, learn quite a number of things (like tying knots), gone camping, and the list goes on. I haven’t had a chance to ask Josh what did he think about being a cub scout. I’ll have to ask him over dinner tonight.